Dads Cook Too: Dave’s Lamb Shank Potjie

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Dave starting his potjie


I’ve been living next door to Dave and Jenny for about 15 years at a residential complex in St Winifred’s, but we have never had dinner together… We’ve always spoken to each other over the garden fence while having a braai; occasionally Dave would hand me over a piece of meat he proudly sizzled to tender perfection, and I’ve often sat outside eating my dinner and have never insisted on sharing a morsel. Yes, that’s true, I’m pretty protective over my dinner. Jenny and I have started exchanging baked treats over the fence, and my lovely neighbours have become a part of the “unofficial” guinea pig team for when I set out to try new things for Stuffed-Feeling.  As neighbours, we both have a tendency to also peak through each others windows as we follow the waft of delights cooking in whoever’s kitchen.   
It’s been made pretty clear to me that Dave takes pride in the food he cooks. He is pretty critical of the food he makes, meticulous about having clean hands and is probably the only person I know that always makes cooked meat REALLY tender every time. This lamb shank potjie is no different!
We were invited to the Potgieter’s side of the fence, to sit around a fire, talk the usual nonsense we would over the fence, and take part in Dave’s typical potjie evening. It was explained to me, that in the Afrikaans culture, these potjie evenings are all about bringing friends or family together, enjoying each other’s company, relaxing and making it an experience. It’s a slow cooked meal; so it would be best to start it late afternoon or early evening. As the pot’s flavours developed, wafts of the meal kept coming towards me; it certainly did build me up, and I can safely say it did not let me down in flavour and taste!
This potjie was absolutely awesome; it was simple flavours that worked so well together. The meat was extremely tender! The entire meal was worth the hours of waiting, and for impatient me to say that, you know it was gooooood.
If you’re Dad enjoys company and sitting around a fire I would suggest you give this potjie evening a try. It will certainly be a Father’s Day to remember!   

Dave’s Lamb Shank Potjie

Ingredients

2 Medium Onions, finely chopped
1 Green Chilli, chopped
2 – 3 Leeks, sliced
1 Tin Rhodes Mexican Style mix
5 Pieces Lamb Shanks
3 – 4 potatoes, peeled and quartered
Oil
Fresh Thyme
Fresh Basil
1 Mutton Stock Cube, dissolved in a cup of boiled water
1 Tbs Hot fruit Chutney

Instructions:

A potjie is placed over a charcoal fire in a weber, a designated fire area, or you can cook it over a gas cylinder – just make sure it is kept at a constant medium heat.

  • Pour your oil in the potjie pot, allow to heat up for a minute.
  • Fry your onions and chilli, stir and let it sizzle for a minute.
  • Then add your leeks, thyme and basil; stir and allow to fry for a minute.
  • Pour in the Rhodes Mexican Style mix; stir and allow the flavours to mix.
  • Place the lamb shanks in the pot, make sure the meat has some of the mix coated over it.
  • Pour in the mutton stock and chutney.
  • Place the Potjie lid on top of the pot and leave for about an hour.
  • When an hour has past, take the lid off and add the potatoes (with the bowl of water it is in), into the pot. Stir.
  • Place the lid back on top of the pot and allow to simmer and cook for another hour or two.
Note: Your potjie is ready when the potatoes are soft and the meat falls off the bones.
          It’s best served with rice and/or rolls.